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Eyelid Surgery

Last reviewed by Dr. Raj MD on January 12th, 2022.

What is eyelid surgery?

This is a surgical procedure that is done to remove the pouches under your lower eyelids and the excess folds of skin in your upper eye lid. The medical terminology is blepharoplasty. Because of what is done it is considered to be a reconstructive surgery that is done for a variety of reasons such as to improve your vision, to improve your appearance, or for both reasons. After having this surgery it will usually produce an effect that is very pleasing to look at and will give you a more youthful, rested look. Sometimes when a person has eyelid surgery it can be performed on one or both eyelids. When having this surgery it is performed by a plastic surgeon.

Most people’s eyes are an expressive feature that is the first thing that most people noticed in another person. Unfortunately your eyes are the first feature that seems to show the signs of age. When the skin around your eye area ages this is when the excess folds start to appear in both your upper and lower eyelids. Having eyelid surgery can give you a more rested brighter appearance. It is one of the most satisfying cosmetic procedures done on the face because there is a brief recovery period with the results being long lasting.

The reason that many people have eyelid surgery is that over time your eyelids will start to thin and lose their elasticity which can lead to your eyelids sagging. When this happens often times the fat that behind your eyeball migrates forward and gives them the appearance of baggy eyes. If your baggy eyes are serious it can interfere with you wearing glasses or your vision. When you first notice your sagging eyelids it is usually most noticeable in the morning. As it progresses you could start to look tired throughout the entire day. In addition to changing how you look having sagging eyelids could interfere with your vision.


Before you have eyelid surgery the plastic surgeon will meet with you to discuss their medical history, a physical exam, and what you want to accomplish with the surgery. Each eyelid surgery is tailored to what the patient wants, what they expect out of the surgery along with the surgeon’s expertise and opinion. Other factors that will weigh in on the surgery is your age, current medications you are taking, your medical history, your tobacco use, skin type, and ethnicity.

How is the procedure done?

The surgery will begin with you being placed under general anesthesia or sedated. The surgeon will make incisions along the existing folds and skin lines in order to minimize scarring. The extra fat, muscle, and skin are either repositioned or removed during the surgery. Then the surgeon will cosmetically close the incision using sutures that are absorbable, surgical tape, adhesive, or sutures that are non-absorbable. When doing the surgery on the lower eyelids the incisions may be made on the back of your eyelid in order to avoid any scarring or external incision.

How long it will take to do the surgery will vary based on the plastic surgeon doing the surgery and the exact procedure that is being done. On average it can take from one to three hours with a normal surgery. For seven to fourteen days after the procedure you can expect to see bruising and swelling. The final appearance will start to appear within the first month and the surgical lines can take from six to twelve months to totally fade to the fullest extent. This surgery is usually do on patients that are over the age of thirty-five

Cost of Eyelid Surgery

The cost of this surgery is usually not covered by your insurance because it is considered cosmetic surgery. If the surgery is medically necessary your insurance may pay for it. How much it will cost for this surgery will depend on which plastic surgeon did the surgery and the extent of the procedure. One thing that can greatly affect the cost is your geographical location because in some cities the cost can be high but lower in towns. On average this surgery can cost between one thousand seven hundred dollars to seven thousand dollars.

Recovery time

The recovery time after having eyelid surgery will usually take no longer than fourteen to twenty-one days but it can take up to six months for you to see the finalized complete results. In the first several days after having the surgery you can expect to have some mild discomfort but that will soon go away. Your stitches will come out in about five days unless they are the absorbable ones. After the stitches are removed you should be able to return to work comfortably. Depending on your surgeon’s advice you should be able to start doing strenuous activities and exercise.

After surgery there are many things that you can do to help speed up your recovery. The first few days after surgery will be the most uncomfortable ones for you because your eyelids might feel sore or tight and you might experience a burning sensation or aching. Your eyes might also be sensitive to light along with blurry vision. Most of these problems taking prescription medications or over-the-counter pain relievers along with eye drops that can keep your eyes from drying out and cold compresses. You should also sleep with your head elevated and try to get as much rest as you can.

During the following week is when you will have the stitches, if any, removed and you will start to notice that the bruising and swelling is starting to heal. You can start to resume everyday activities but avoid doing anything strenuous or anything that can strain or dry your eyes. When going outside you should wear sunglasses to help protect your eyes from the wind and sun.

Eyelid Surgery Photos

eyelid surgery before and after photos 2

eyelid surgery before and after photos 3

eyelid surgery before and after photos

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